Saint Ronnie the Gipper slashed taxes in the 80’s, and the result was lower growth than in the 70’s. W. slashed taxes in the first decade of this century, and the result was the lowest growth since the 1930’s. The greatest growth happened in the second half of the 30’s (under FDR’s New Deal), in the 40’s (during the War Effort), and in the 50’s. Those three stretches are characterized by growing income equality; the 21st Century version of America is characterized by growing income inequality.
The question of Israel isn’t a simple one, even for Jews. Philip Roth, in his interesting historical fiction, The Plot Against America, expressed a sentiment I have heard in some quarters: “…the poor old man who…seemed unable to get it through his head that we’d already had a homeland for three generations. I pledged allegiance to the flag of our homeland every morning at school. I sang of its marvels with my classmates at assembly programs. I eagerly observed its national holidays…Our homeland was America.” But it isn’t that simple either; driven out of Palestine by the Romans 19 centuries ago, the idea and reality of a Jewish Israel is powerful. And it needs to be noted that synagogues are really just an acceptable, temporary, replacement for the Temple to an observant Jew.
Call it, “Listen carefully and carry several sticks of varying sizes.” Pull the bulk of combat troops out of Iraq while ramping up the war in Afghanistan. Sanction the regimes in Iran and North Korea, but avoid direct military action. Communicate intentions regarding Tunisia and Egypt, but take direct action in Yemen and Lybia. If President Obama was a football team, he wouldn’t be a rigid, system-driven squad like Oklahoma’s teams were under Barry Switzer (successful as they were); he would be a flexible, gameplan to opponent group like the New England Patriots.
Filed under the heading of useless government action; the Republican House (and three Democrats) voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In truth, the voted for the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”, a magnificent example of snake-oil salesmanship. The action has no real political meaning; the Senate will never see the legislation because Republicans don’t have the votes to either open the debate or invoke cloture to force a vote. If the Senate were to pass a complement, President Obama would veto the action, and there aren’t enough votes in the House to override his veto.